tv U.S. House of Representatives Morning Hour CSPAN December 16, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EST
the speaker: on this vote the yeas are had 21. the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative shall the rules are suspended, the senate amendment is agreed to. and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid pon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. mccarthy: i ask to speak out of order.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, today i rise with a heavy heart to pay tribute to the 14 innocent lives lost on december 2 in san bernardino, california. in this terrorism attack at the inland regional center. in the wake of this terrorist act, our san bernardino community has come together and supported one another during this dark chapter of our region and our nation. mr. speaker, today i ask my colleagues, fellow americans, and those who hear this message around the world to pray for the 14 victims. the speedy recovery of those injured, and the countless responders who helped that day. in the aftermath of this pain, i have seen first hand the tenacity and spirit of the area that we call the inland empire. we have said loudly as one community that this tragedy will not define us and it will
not divide us. we will not be afraid to come together in fellowship, to work together, to mourn together, or to rebuild together. across faith and across culture, we will support one another in this time of need. mr. speaker, san bernardino has been forced to soldier through difficult times before. as we face this new and different hurdle, i know my community will continue to stand together to show our country and our region the resolve of this city and of these people to heal. we are san bernardino united. mr. speaker, i'm joined by my colleagues and i ask the house to pause for a moment of silence in honor of those affected by the terrorist act in san bernardino on december 2. the speaker: the house will observe a moment of silence.
without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the unfinished business is on the vote of the motion of the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4246 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4246, a bill to exempt an additional four-year period from the application of the means test presumption under chapter 7 filed by members of reserve components of the armed forces and members of the national guard who after september 11, 2001, are called to active duty or to perform a homeland defense activity for not less than 90 days. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by
the speaker pro tempore: on on vote the yeas are -- this vote the yeas are 419. the nays are one. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the house shall be in order. the house shall be in order. the house shall be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. mccarthy: mr. speaker, i
ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for the purpose of a scheduled announcement. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. speaker, there are few certainties in life. death, taxes, and my good friend from maryland asking for a colloquy about every week. but the schedule in this house in december is not one of those certainties. so i rise today to ensure that the members of this body have the most up-to-date information on the floor schedule in the house. currently the house is scheduled to be in session and voting on thursday and friday of this week. members are advised that we are expected to remain in session until we finish our business for the year. at this point we expect to consider the tax extender package tomorrow and the omnibus on friday. should there be any further changes to the schedule, i will be sure to notify the members as soon as possible. i yield to my friend from maryland.
mr. hoyer: i thank my friend for yielding. account leader tell me what the -- can the leader tell me what the expectation can be for members on friday as to when would be a target date to complete business on friday? yield to my friend. yield back. mr. mccartie: we'll convene at 9:00 a.m. it's our anticipation as long as it goes as scheduled that we could be walking off the floor by noon. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for the information. . mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that information. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the unfinished business -- without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. costello, to suspend the rules and pass senate file 1090, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. e clerk: senate 1090, an act
to amend the robert t. stafford disaster relief and emergency assistance act to provide elljibblingt for broadcasting facilities to receive certain disaster assistance, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 420. the nays are one. 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the question on suspending the ules and passing h.r. 3654, as amended, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: h.r. 3654, a bill to require a report on the united states strategy to combat terrorist use of social media
and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules. this is on the issue of the international financing of hezbollah that we suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendments to h.r. 2297, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2297, an act to prevent hezbollah and associate entities from getting access to international financial, and other institutions, and for other purposes. senate amendments. the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order.
pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to evise and extend their remarks and to include any extraneous material on this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this measure and in particular i wanted to thank the gentleman from north carolina, mr. mark meadows, for being the -- thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members, please take your conversations off the floor. mr. royce: there are several individuals that i wanted to thank, mr. speaker. in particular as i said the gentleman from north carolina, i want to thank mark meadows
for being the early leader on this issue of focusing on hezbollah and on this legislation. i also want to thank congressman david scott of georgia. he served for eight years on the foreign affairs committee as vice chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on terrorism and nuclear nonproliferation, and i would just mention that as chairman of the nato parliamentary assembly committee that researched and wrote the report on iran's nuclear weapons program, he has unique insights with respect to the threat posed by hezbollah. not just to israel, but to the west. and we thank them both for their work on this measure. i also want to thank senators rubio and shaheen for recognizing the urgency of this problem. and working in a bipartisan way
to ensure that this legislation was able to pass the senate so that today we can send it to the president's desk. and most importantly, i want to thank my good friend and colleague, the gentleman from new york, mr. eliot engel, for his work to push back against iran and its proxies that threaten the united states and threaten our allies globally. now, i'll say that this day is overdue. this past may the house passed this bill by a vote of 423-0. in fact, last congress the house also passed legislation spearheaded by mr. meadows in the 113th congress, 404-0, which the other body failed to take. thankfully this year is different. because right now iran is on a roll. last week we learned the regime test fired another ballistic missile in violation of two u.n. resolutions.
meanwhile, iran continues to hold american hostages and its terrorist proxy, which is hezbollah, is wreaking havoc throughout the middle east. mr. speaker, it's critical that we confront this kind of aggression. we cannot stand by while the iranian regime exports violence and exports its revolutionary ideology. that's why this legislation targeting hezbollah is so important. prior to september 11, 2001, hezbollah was responsible before that attack by al qaeda, it was responsible for more american deaths than any other terrorist organization on this planet. in 1983, hezbollah suicide bombers struck the u.s. marine barracks in beirut killing 421 american service men. in a similar attack in 1996 in
saudi arabia killed 19 american servicemen. hezbollah continues to serve as iran's frontline against israel with 100,000 rockets pointed at our ally. the terrorist group also plays a key role in iran's effort to prop up syria's murderous assad regime. thousands of hezbollah fighters freely cross the border between lebanon and syria to join the fight. unfortunately, the threat posed by hezbollah and other iranian proxies is poised to become even more dangerous. iran is hezbollah's primary benefactor. giving the lebanese political party and militant group some $200 million a year. in addition to weapons, training, intelligence, logistical assistance as well. over the past few years, iran has been forced to cut back its financial support to hezbollah due to the international
sanctions regime that the obama administration will dismantle in the coming months. as a result of the sanctions relief due to iran under that deal, hezbollah will see additional funding come its way. a boost that will benefit hezbollah's regional and international operations. with more money, hezbollah will step up its aid to shiia militias in iraq and yemen in cooperation with iran. it will increase its presence in syria and most significantly it's going to increase its threat to israel. finally, increased funding will help hezbollah rebuild its capabilities beyond the middle east. a newly enriched hezbollah will be more aggressive at home and agrod, boosting its destabilizing activities inside and outside of lebanon. yet this is not a foregone conclusion. this legislation represents an important first step in pushing back against iran and hezbollah
and repairing the damage that the administration's sanction relief for iran has done to our national security. hezbollah is worried, as this bill puts hezbollah's sources of financing under additional scrutiny, particularly those resources outside of lebanon given that many lebanese banks have stepped up their game now to prevent money laundering. it will also promote the application of advanced anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering methods to both financial institutions and business enterprises operating as financial institutions. such as those adopted by regional banks, including many in lebanon. in addition to targeting the terrorist organization's diverse financial network, the legislation also requires the u.s. government to focus on hezbollah's global logistics network and its transnational organized criminal enterprideses -- enterprises, including its drug smuggling operations.
key areas of expansion for that terrorist organization. how do i know they are worried? because they said so in their own words. after the senate passage of this legislation, hezbollah issued a formal statement condemning the senate vote and describing it as a crime against hezbollah. with their international networks, particularly their most lucrative networks outside of lebanon and africa and latin america, in our crosshairs, they should be worried. they should be worried. and i strongly urge my colleagues to support this critical measure. i'll i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the chair will receive message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed s. 571, cited as bill of rights number two. in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman
from new york, mr. engel. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of the hezbollah international financing prevention act. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. the house first passed this bipartisan legislation on may 14 by a vote of 423-0. that's as bipartisan as you can get. on november 17, the senate sent the bill back to us with a number of very modest changes. by passing it again today, we send to the president's desk. i want to commend my friend, chairman royce, for being the driving force behind this very, very important bill. when chairman royce introduced the bill, i was glad to join as an original co-sponsor. i also want to acknowledge representatives deutsch, meadows, and message for their hard work -- meng for their hard work on this important legislation. mr. speaker, over a decade ago i offered the syria accountability and lebanese
sovereignty restoration act which is now law. my partner, ileana ros-lehtinen of florida, and i pushed very hard for many years to get this bill finally passed by both houses and signed into law by the president. this measure aims to ends syrian support for terrorism, including support to groups such as hezbollah. since then, hezbollah has found new ways to siphon resources and expand its reach all the while working toward the same goal, to undermine lebanese political independence and support iran's dangerous agenda throughout the region. it's a bit ironic that the group that really controls lebanon today is not really the lebanese government but it's hezbollah, which really has the same type of duplication, but they are stronger militarily than the will be knees government. that's a shame for lebanon, it really s we know the aggression that hezbollah has had with
lebanon wars against israel and being iran's proxy in syria and doing all kinds of things that are detrimental to the world. our laws need to crack down on this group of hezbollah needs to keep pace. again, the same goal, their goal is to undermine lebanese political independence and support iran's dangerous goals. we need to be one step ahead of them. iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. let's not forget that. and while the islamic revolutionary guard corps and its force spread instability throughout the region, iran's most destructive terrorist tool has been hezbollah. among other things this group was behind the bombings of the u.s. embassy and marine barracks in lebanon and the israeli embassy and jewish mmunity center in benosaries
-- buenosaries, argentina. the group has put down roots in drug trafficking and other forms of transnational crime. hezbollah has become a sophisticated and complex terrorist organization and we need a response adequate to meet this challenge. this legislation would move the ball forward by sanctioning foreign banks for knowingly doing business with hezbollah. we need to send a clear message to companies getting tangled up with this terrorist group and that message is, walk away or face the consequences of the united states. the bill would also shine a bright light on hezbollah's television station. itself a sophisticately designated terrorist group, chairman royce and i working together through the years have been especially -- we especially listen to what is being broadcast. during the gold war when we had radio free america and
television broadcasts, we felt that the message that the united states was getting to these countries was very important. we believe, both of us, it did, in fact, have -- play a major role in the collapse of the soviet union because they were fed the truth by us and we are strong supporters of continuing that kind of thing. hezbollah uses alminar for propaganda and fundraising purposes. it defies reason that this station is still carried by the satellite providers all over the world. can you imagine that? let me say that again. this legislation shines a bright light on alminar which is hezbollah's television station, itself especially designated terrorist group and ezbollah uses this station for propaganda and fundraising purposes. it's outrageous that this station is still carried by satellite providers all over the world. we need to expose this puppet organization for what it is. our government needs new
powers, provided in this legislation, and i'm pleased that the house and senate worked together to get the bill across the finish line. so i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation. i thank chairman royce, again, for pushing this and being the driving force for this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. engel. mr. royce: i yield to representative warlorski. war war i rise in strong support that will impose financial sanctions that knowingly engage in business with hezbollah. hezbollah is one of the world's largest most dangerous well funded terror organizations. trained, funded and deployed as a proxy of the iranian
government with operations expanding several continents and have launched rockets at civilians. there is no question that hezbollah is stronger than ever. they have murdered americans, israelis, syrians and citizens of other nations. they have amassed an arsenal of advanced weaponry, including 150,000 rockets and missiles, made technological advances and gained battlefield experience in syria which has turned hezbollah into what could be israel's most dangerous enemy. it requires president obama report to congress on hezbollah's involvement in their drug business. money laundering and other criminal activities, all of which are critical to funding its terrorism. we cannot jeopardize our national security and continue to ignore the serious threats of hezbollah to our country and our
allies including israel. while this bill is not a silver bullet, it's a huge step in the right direction. i thank the chairman and the committee on their work and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: it's now my pleasure to yield four minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. scott, who serves on the financial services committee, was a valued member of the foreign affairs committee and served as vice chairman of the subcommittee on terrorism and nuclear proliferation and congressman scott is a member of the nato parliamentary if assembly and he grew up in my district. mr. scott, four minutes. mr. scott: i really appreciate want to engel and i thank chairman royce for his very kind remarks that he gave
to me concerning our work. ladies and gentlemen of the house and ladies and gentlemen of america, we have before us perhaps the most singular, significant bill and thing that we can do right now to send a bold powerful message to the world that we are going to finally begin that real intricate process with determination to dismantle one of the single most horrific terrorist groups on this earth. hezbollah. why do i say that? i don't say that to get up and say a few words. i have spent 12 years on the nato parliamentary assembly and served as chairman of the science and technology committee and for three hard years we did
the research and wrote the report specifically on and underneath in getting the real truth out about iran's nuclear weapons program. but in the process of doing that, we discovered the tunnels, all of the different things that gave support to hezbollah by iran. so this is why this is so important. and let me just tell you, make o mistake about it, almost the single solitary main purpose for hezbollah is to destroy israel. make no mistake about it. they already right now have hundreds of missiles pointed to israel. so how can we do something right now to address this? this bill, this bill you always
follow the money and the money trails are so complex. you have corporations, you have dummy companies, you also have individuals and third and fourth parties that iran works through. and the language in this bill clearly points to and gives the president of the united states the authority and as a matter of fact, it's almost like a very strong demand and request from us in the congress. it is the executive branch that s investigative power, the c.i.a., special ops, the entire military, including the f.b.i. -- we are the single most powerful nation in the world and it's about time we stood up and showed the world that we are no longer going to tolerate
hezbollah, no longer tolerate iran working through these third parties to make the people of israel suffer and live under the conditions that they have to live in. now, let me get to the other crux of this matter. cnn reported, as i said on in my comment area when i was fighting strongly against and i talked with the president how weak and the position that the iranian agreement has put us in. sure they are going to get a nuclear weapon probably within the next nine years, and that worries us, but the real achilles heel in this agreement where we we lift up the
sanctions, which they are thrisk $150 billionnleash right away, cash and at the same time -- mr. engel: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. mr. scott: and at the same time, we know that with this cash already russia and china all have signed agreements to get the most sophisticated weapons there is. this bill will help us because in it very clearly in section 201, it clearly states that the president shall identify any country that is helping to finance the terrorism coming out of hezbollah. we will be able to track this. we are sending a powerful message with this. and it is my hope that we will be able to -- once iran has this
cash and no boundary on what they can use it for, i guarantee you, because hezbollah is an rm, a very trick arm of -- trirk arm. we can't stop there because israel as i said is a target and have got to put forth a new understanding memorandum -- mr. engel: i yield another minute to the gentleman. mr. scott: we need to do this, members of the house, and we need to do it right away, the president and the executive branch needs to go work to identify these people who are providing this support. but there's another step we have to go through right away. we support israel with a memorandum of understanding, of military aid. ight now it is at $3.1 billion
annually. but ladies and gentlemen, given the circumstances, we need to increase that to $5 billion. why do i say that? i hope that my previous remarks will give support for that. at no time does israel need our help as they need it now. this was in my humble opinion, a weak iranian agreement and a lot was made about the united states and israel. we need to send a powerful strong message that there is no light between the united states and israel and we are going to send $5 billion. and the other point is, our current appropriations to help israel -- our current appropriations for israel ends in 2017. i want to repeat that because i don't think the people of america know.
the aid they will get. where would israel be? it could have been blown away if they didn't have the iron dome. but it's because we had an understanding, a memorandum and giving them $3.1 billion. but with all of this upsurge of terrorism all around the world now, right here in california just last week, paris, all over, we may not think we are going to war, but war has been declared on the united states, on israel, on europe and by george, it's time we declared war back on them. and that's why we need to increase this memorandum of understanding to that $5 billion mark to that year and that will send a powerful message of how
strong israel and the united states relationship is. thank you. thank you ranking member. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, chairman of affairs subcommittee on global health. mr. smith: let me thank our chairman for offering another important bill in the fight against trim as it relates to ezbollah and his international prevention act against trim. i don't want to be redundant but it's a very important bill that will make a difference. hezbollah is a terrorist organization and a proxy of the iranian regime, which directly threatens our close ally israel.
this bill will hobble hezbollah's ability to finance its terrorist activities and strongly deserving of support. the bill sends a message to the administration and seeks to mitigate some of the damage unleashed by the u.s. policy towards iran, misguided policy at that and egregiously flawed deal that lifts sanctions that will free up billions of dollars for the regime in iran to finance anti--america and anti-israel. hezbollah has attacked americans and fires missiles into israel many ances bombings and of the terrorists associated were involved with the killing of the marines back in the early 1980's. one of those marines was from my district and hometown and his wife and children -- she was
left as a widow as were many others by the horrific act of terrorism. i ask our members to support it. and i thank chairman royce for his leadership and remind our colleagues, to date, the chairman has had about three dozen hearings on iran and on issues related to iran. every aspect of our misguided policy has been focused upon as well as ideas that mitigate the damage. this is one of those. if you go with the money flow, you can help to stop this. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i'm prepared to close. i don't know if there are any further people on the other side? i'll close, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: i yield myself such time as i may consume.
colleagues, we all know too well that iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terror and its most destructive terrorist tool is hezbollah. it is not limited to terrorism, arranging from drug trafficking to other forms of illicit activity. hezbollah has transformed into one of the world's most sophisticated, complex and dangerous terror organizations. h.r. 2297 is the adequate response to meet this challenge. on the terror financing front, this bill would move the ball forward by sanctioning foreign banks knowingly doing business with hezbollah. the bill would expose its violent television apparatus, alminar, which is used for log gist particular call propaganda and fundraising purposes. i commend chairman royce and the other people who worked so hard
in making this a reality. this will go to the president's desk and i think we can be proud once again of the bipartisan way in which the foreign affairs committee works. i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i would just remind our colleagues that yes, indeed, hezbollah has cost the lives of 260 marines and other u.s. service personnel. i would share with you that in 2006 during the hezbollah war, as i would call it, i was in the region, and at that time, i witnessed what were probably 4,000 to 5,000 rockets being fired over a period of time into israel. and so firsthand the human cost of this. i mentioned the 260 marines that
died in two attacks, but going down to the trauma hospital and seeing firsthand the 600 victims of those hezbollah attacks, including the realization that hezbollah had tunneled underneath israel's territory to ,ring fighters up within israel you see the impact that iran's encouragement and money and training is having on these terrorist fighters. and you see the consequence and costs in terms of human lives lost. elliott engel and i were in one of these tunnels that came up right outside of a school, this one coming from ham as, but hamas. just like the tunnels in
lebanon, was again done by iran. . where do they get the rockets? they get them from iran. en i was in high if a -- haifa, there were maybe 15,000 of those rockets. today as you know there are over 100,000. mr. engel and i have held a number of hearings on this subject. but those 100,000 rockets have a much longer range, again, thanks to iran. and hezbollah in the meantime is gaining in its position and strength monetarily, both from the money it gets from iran, and from its clandestine activities in smuggling. we have an opportunity with this legislation to cut off its
international financing. and i want to thank my colleagues for their work because we have got to have a strategy that cuts off their illicit activities, that holds other countries and banking systems accountable, and we have got to go after the vulnerabilities that hezbollah has in terms of sustaining this terror network. let's cut off their cash and their support system with this legislation. i urge the passage, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendments to h.r. 2297. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- mr. royce: could i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise. and remain standing until
counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 , further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: mr. speaker, move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3750, the first responders passport act of 2015, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3750, a bill to waive the passport fees for first responders proceeding abroad to aid a foreign country suffering from a natural disaster. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. boyle, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: mr. speaker, could i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and xtend their remarks and to
include any extraneous material for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i want to begin by thanking representative darrell issa, a senior member of the foreign affairs committee. the former chairman of the committee on oversight and government reform, for authoring this very straightforward piece of legislation because when catastrophe strikes overseas, america's first responders deploy all over the world. they assist in some of the most difficult and damaged environments that we could only immanlin. the -- imagine. the 2010 earthquake in haiti, the 2014 flooding in pair guy -- paraguy, earlier this year following the earthquake in nepal, and rushing to the front lunse of human need, leaving their own families, they
represent the true faith -- and the face of american compassion. and i know that mr. issa in his trips around the cutting edge of this issue and his trips to visit these spots speaks on an issue that he knows very well when he says that these brave men and women have saved countless lives on this planet over the years. this bill that he has written, the first responders passport act, is an important amendment to the passport act back in 1920, allowing the secretary of state to waive passport fees for those first responders who have volunteered to serve our country, volunteered to travel abroad, to aid others in their great time of greatest need. currently the passport fee waiver can only be exercised for a very limited group, largely comprised of officers who employees of the u.s. traveling abroad on official duty. what this bill would do is to
extend that waiver to include first responders that are working under a contract with the united states government and the u.s. agency for international development contracts with approximately 450 first responders every year. so these first responders are required to maintain a valid passport in case of immediate deployment. which can cost as much as $165 per passport for first time applicant. these fees are not covered by the usaid contract or the country, but rather paid out of pocket by the individual. these first responders are serving in support of our national interest. they are putting their own lives at risk to provide immediate medical response following a natural disaster. like the fwour indian ocean earth -- earthquake which unleashed devastating tsunamis on thailand and indonesia and
sri lanka. many of our first responders that deploy abroad come from the search and rescue teams based in los angeles county, california, fairfax county, virginia, and waiving the passport fee for those brave and selfless enough to help those in the greatest need is the least we can do. i commend congressman issa for doing this and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. boyle: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of this measure and i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. speaker, i would like to thank the chairman, royce, ranking member engel, my colleague and friend from california, mr. issa, and my fellow foreign affairs committee colleagues for their unanimous support in helping our first responders answer the call of service when a natural disaster strikes abroad. every year americans bravely go
abroad to help victims natural disasters in foreign lands. such as the 2010 earthquakes in haiti, the 2008 cyclones in yemen. 2015 hurricane patricia in mexico just to name a few. earlier this year, the world was shocked by the images of nepal's 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed over 8,600 and injured over 6,000 -- 16,800. the united states was one of the largest donors to the relief and rebuilding effort in the wake of this catastrophe. through charitable donations, d.o.d. contributions, and search and rescue operation and relief efforts. united states search and rescue teams search for survivors trapped in debris. these first responders continuously put their lives on the line at home and abroad. mr. speaker, this is an example of american leadership.
their bravery and efforts do not go unnoticed. we should all do what we can to make their indevers easier. un-- endeavors easier. unfortunately, american contractors and volunteers, despite being coordinated by usaid, are subject to passport fees at their own expense when attempting to travel abroad in response to these disasters. to alleviate this object tickle -- obstacle, h.r. 3750, the first responders passport act, would allow the secretary of state to grant their passports free of charge. i'm proud to have introduced this commonsense bill with my colleague, mr. issa from california, because contractors and volunteers deserve the same treatment as government employees when they are being sent abroad to offer their service on behalf of our nation. cultural diplomacy like the services of these brave men and women provide in the face of international disasters is
critical to our international image and international relations. i ask that my colleagues support this bipartisan commonsense legislation. i thank you. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman reserves. the gentleman from california, mr. royce, is recognized. mr. royce: i yield four minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. issa, a senior member of the committee on foreign affairs and the author of this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. issa: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you and ranking member engel for bringing this in a timely fashion to the floor. i want to thank my partner in this legislation, mr. boyle of pennsylvania. now, congress often does things and makes a lot of to-do about it. i don't want to overstate this simple technical correction, but i don't want to understate it, either. the fact is america's proud of people who volunteer or choose
in the worst possible conditions to go in harm's way, to go in devastation's way. it's a small thing but very meaningful to say that, one, they won't have to pay for their passport out of their own pocket, and two, although normally the contracts for these first responders come out of los angeles and fairfax county, should there be a major disaster again that is beyond these first responders' capability, the law will allow for anyone authorized by the united states government to go and help in these areas to be granted, as necessary, a passport, including expediting the in order to get to devastation quickly and with the minimum of bureaucracy involved. america knows about haiti, nepal, japan, and so many other
devastating areas over the last few years. but until today, america never took the time to simply say in this small way, thank you to our first responders. thank you for what you do. we certainly appreciate it enough to come out of the taxpayers' pocket to make sure you don't have to come out of your own pocket when you're going on behalf of the american people to help those in need around the world. again i want to thank the chairman for his leadership in bringing this in a timely fashion. urge support and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. boyle: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. for the purpose of closing. i would just say briefly that we are reminded each and every day that american leadership abroad is needed now more than ever. that, yes, has a military component. it has an international relations and diplomacy
component. it also has this soft power component. mr. speaker, this is a part of the soft power of the united tates. the idealism of people to do good to others around the world when they are most in need. this is a rather simple step that they can take to help those who are helping others. i am proud to support it. i ask that all members support our legislation. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. speaker, i'd like to recognize the work of, again, representative issa, and also representative boyle of pennsylvania. i think that this bill, this first responders passport act, is going to be an important change in law in terms of encouraging people to be first responders. by extending a courtesy that we currently grant to employees of
the government, we here have an opportunity to get first responders to have that expertise those volunteers that travel the greatest distances to work in the harshest of conditions and to help those in greatest need. this, to me, i think, is a great concept and i urge my colleagues to support this bill. so that we can take care of those that take care of others, our first respond responders. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3750, as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, thirds third -- mr. royce: mr. speaker, on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. the speaker pro tempore: all those in favor of taking this
vote will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2241, the global health innovation act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. does the gentleman call up the bill as amended? mr. royce: h.r. 2241 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2241, a bill to direct the administrator of the united states agency for international development to submit to congress a report on the development and use of global health innovations and the programs' projects and activities of the agency. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. sires, each will
control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include any extraneous material. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. so i rise in support of the global health innovation act. this is by mr. sires of new jersey. and i would just point out that over the past two decades, we have made unprecedented progress in addressing some of the most difficult global health challenges of our time. global rates of child mortality have dropped by 53%, malaria deaths down by 47%, maternal mortality has been reduced by 44%. eradication of polio is within reach. yet despite these successes, we have a long way to go. the ebola outbreak in west
africa should serve as a stark reminder of the global threat of infectious disease and child and maternal mortality rates have been reduced, there are still 5.9 million children under the age of five who died from preventable causes in 2015. there are 830 mothers that died from preventable causes every day. i have been to africa and i have seen the disastrous effects of these diseases. the global development lab and center is working to working to address these global health challenges by bringing together science, technology and innovation to develop low cost high impact health technologies. this legislation written by mr. sires seeks to support these efforts while bettering
congressional oversight and directs the administrator to submit to congress five annual reports on the development and use of global health innovations in its programs, particularly those relating to hiv-aids, to maternal and child health and to combatting infectious diseases. i want to thank mr. sires of new jersey, he is the ranking member of the subcommittee on the western hemisphere for bringing this in a timely manner and i urge members to support the bill. and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. sires: i rise in support of this measure and i yield myself such time as i may consume. i thank chairman royce and ranking member engel for their work on global health and their efforts to bring this bill to the floor. i would also like to thank the many members who have co-sponsored this bill, especially congressman mario
diaz-balart, who has gracefully acted as the republican lead. additionally i would like to thank the staffers who worked diligently to bring h.r. 2241 to the floor for a vote. infectious diseases and other health conditions claim the lives of nine million people each year and american health threats pose a serious threat across the globe. new vaccines, drugs, tests and other health tools are desperately needed. while progress cannot be made without a sustained investment in research and development. u.s. investment in global health research are central components of u.s. foreign policy to increase national security, strengthen u.s. relations around the world and reduce infectious diseases. the u.s. has a legacy of global alth research like u.s. --
usaid. i introduced the bill. this will provide the oversight needed to gain a clearer picture of the global research and development. over the years, research and development projects have greatly expanded at the usaid. searching for advancements in preventable maternal and childhood deaths. this legislation is an effort to keep up with the scope of usaid's expanded efforts and ensure their activities reflect the goals and priorities. this report asked them to provide clarity on their goals for -- to better understand their work. h.r. 2241 directs the administrator to report annually to congress on the development and use of global health
innovations and programs, projects and activities. the report must also include how the agency measures progress. investment and developments towards the health-related goals. i urge my colleagues to vote in support of h.r. 2241 to allow congress to exercise its oversight powers and ensure research and development efforts reflect their priorities. and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: reserve the right to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. sires: i thank chairman royce, ranking member engel once again and i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2241. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: the global health innovation act will enable congress to conduct more
effective oversight to develop and expand access to low cost, high impact health technologies. so i support this bill. and i urge its adoption. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2241 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative -- mr. royce: i object that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.
move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4239 as amended. the tracking foreign fighters and terrorists safe havens act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: a bill to require intelligence community reporting on foreign fighters to and from terrorist safe havens abroad and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. lobiondo and the gentleman from california, mr. swalwell each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. mr. lobiondo: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill h.r. 4239. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. lobiondo: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that my full statement may be entered into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. lobiondo: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may
consume. mr. speaker, terrorism remains one of the greatest threats facing our nation today. as a member of the permanent select committee on intelligence and the committee on armed services, i have seen the brave men and women of our nation's armed forces and the intelligence services battle this threat on a daily basis, but the recent terrorist attack in san bernandino has highlighted this is not just a threat to be faced by our servicemen and women. we face this threat at home in our communities, from individuals who have been radicalized abroad and entered our country with the intent to do us harm. we must focus our intelligence efforts and bring them directly to bear on individuals radicalized abroad and committed to commit terrorist attacks here at home. we must ensure this important information gets into the hands of our nation's representatives here in the united states congress.
the bill we are debating today will do just that. the tracking foreign fighters and terrorist safe havens act requires the intelligence community to report to congress three important categories of information, the total number of foreign fighters who have traveled to terrorist safe havens including country of origin, the number of u.s. citizens present in safe havens and total number of foreign fighters who have left terrorist safe havens or whose wherebs are unknown. this is crucial to policy makers and help members understand the size and scope of the threats we face and potential risk of terrorism at home and how terrorist safe havens can undermine our national security. by ensuring this information goes to committees, relevant committees of congress can bin begin to address this growing threat. this legislation is also
bipartisan. i want to thank mr. swalwell of california for co-sponsoring this legislation. i want to thank chairman nunes and ranking member schiff, my colleagues on homeland security, chairman mccaul and ranking member thompson. and before closing i want to thank the men and women of this country who serve our intelligence communities and our armed forces. so many of them in the course of my oversight work and to see their efforts in help keeping our nation safe. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. swalwell: i yield myself such time as i may consume. let me express my thanks to mr. lobiondo. i serve as a subcommittee's ranking member and i appreciate the bipartisan way that the chairman of the whole committee and our ranking member, mr. schiff, as well as the way mr. lobiondo and i have approached this critical issue of foreign
fighter flow. isis is one of the greatest threats that is facing the united states. defeating isis means that the united states and its allies must be more coordinated in our efforts to scrub isis from this earth and protect americans at home than isis in attacking us. this will require an approach involving foreign policy and the way our intelligence community tracks isis. foreign fighters who travel to and from a safe haven and return to wreak havoc in the west is real and persistent. when the foreign fighters go to these countries, if they are not killed on the battlefield, oftentimes they learn even better training and are able to return either to western europe or other parts of the world or even the united states with improved training and increased hatred for innocent people. that leaves us vulnerable.
tracking foreign fighters and terrorist safe havens act builds on important provisions on the 2016 intelligence act which equires expansion of the report. this bill broadens this language to report regularly on foreign fighter travel to and from a terrorist safen. if we do not know who is going to fight, we will have an incomplete picture of our own vulnerabilities and these reports must be specific and must include the foreign fighters' country's origin, those who have departed and the umber of those whose where abouts remain unknown and it must include an unclassified report of the contents. i appree